Interview: Ivan Ooze & Coco Allen On The Rise Of Yung Cook God And New Single ‘Snack’
You a rapper or a chef?
Words by Harry Webber May 31, 2024

Benjamin Townsend AKA Ivan Ooze AKA Yung Cook God and his partner and co-creator Coco Allen lift the lid on their newfound cooking fame.

If it wasn’t for having his handle in his Instagram bio, I don’t think many people who follow viral Instagram “chef” Yung Cook God would know he is one of the country’s most prominent rappers.

Before he had amassed over 450K followers and millions of views with his stoner-friendly kitchen skills, he was touring the country with the likes of Wu Tang Clan, Ice Cube and Azealia Banks and playing festivals like Splendour and Beyond The Valley.

After taking a break in 2019, he returned to music last year, dropping three tracks that quickly reminded us of his high-energy flow and tongue-in-cheek lyricism, with fat basslines, warbling soundscapes and lush production making up the key components of an Ivan Ooze sizzler.


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A post shared by Yung Cook God (@yungcookgod_)

In the back half of 2023 he posted his first video, with the help of his partner Coco Allen, under the name @yungcookgod, and by January followers were flocking to see him conjure up meals such as chilli cheese dogs, jalapeño hashbrown poppers and brisket tacos. Each video follows the same recipe: joint sparked, music on, food cooked, food eaten. The only difference is whether he or Coco does the cooking. It’s so simple that that it begs the question, “why are you watching this?”

The answer is that it’s super comforting; it’s repetitive, the music is good, and there’s no showing off. I doubt either of them would consider themselves to be great chefs or reckon that their meals are artisan cuisine, but they seem to have fun giving it a crack.

Now, as the half milly followers looms, they’ve leveraged the success of Yung Cook God to push the Ivan Ooze project further. The latest track ‘Snack’ is his most radio friendly song to date, ready for the bigger audiences, unpretentious and straight up fun – it’s a good hang just like their food vids.

Naturally, we had some questions for both Ben and Coco, so we sat them down to get the scoop on their side hustle… thought we still can’t tell whether music or food is the side hustle… Follow the links for Yung Cook God, Ivan Ooze and Coco’s socials, and read our interview below:


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A post shared by Benjamin Townsend (@ivanuzi)

Was ‘Snack’ completely coincidental, or did you think writing a song about food would be a good crossover for both of your personas?

Ben: Super coincidental. I made the song in 2022 and sat on it till the time was right. After the cooking page started blowing up I thought it was very appropriate to drop it.

If there were three key ingredients to ‘Snack’ what would they be?

Ben: Confidence, charisma and allure.

The track feels like it was made for big stages. When are we gonna hear it live?

Ben: I can’t wait to play ‘Snack’ at a festival! It’s on my bucket list. My next show will be happening June 15th at Laundry Bar in Melbourne to launch the single [tickets here].

The Yung Cook God stuff has gone pretty viral – what’s changed for both of you since that?

Coco: I’d say getting recognised quite a bit in public and the videos have enabled us to put ourselves in a better position financially due to the influx of opportunities.

Is it weird to be recognised as a cook as opposed to a musician?

Ben: It’s definitely a different demographic but I really love being spotted as a cook. It gives me something else to talk about and people really like food so it’s always happy.

Tell us what inspired your first cooking video?

Ben: I wanted to have an everyday activity Coco and I could do together. We chose cooking because we both enjoy cooking and wanted to battle each other with recipes so we decided to document and post the journey. Turns out people like it.

When did you know it was going to be a thing? What was the first big milestone? How did that feel?

Coco: On the 1st of January we made prawn & chilli pasta. Ben and I hadn’t seen each other in a while and our chemistry was super charged which really came across in the video. That was the first video to go viral, which was pretty cool.

What do you guys cook when the cameras aren’t rolling?

Coco: I feel like we’re way healthier when we aren’t being filmed. I generally eat mostly fruits, vegetables and red meat.

Ben: Yeah we definitely eat heaps better off camera but I dabble every now and then in the cheeky treats department. A staple dish in house is a chicken katsu bowl with brown rice, avocado, slaw and edamame.


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A post shared by Yung Cook God (@yungcookgod_)

What’s been your favourite out of all the things you’ve cooked and why?

Coco: honestly probably the fruit salad I made just the other day. It’s my current hyper-fixation meal, it’s so fresh and delicious!!

Ben: Out of the new ones I’d say the beef totchos. It was 420 that day so maybe I was a little more lifted than usually but those things were insane!

Are there any chefs that you guys are fans of?

Ben: I’ve found a lot of chef on insta since making the page who are amazing at what they do. @whatwillycook, @andyhearnden, @foodgotmewasted and @_mochi.munchies_ just to name a few have great recipes popping every couple of days. My Mother, Gordon Ramsey, and Anthony Bourdain are my all time.

What are your goals with YGC? How far can you take it?

Ben: I would love to produce a show in longer format and go to our country’s (and the world’s) most talked about food spots with a great crew. That’s definitely up there.

Most of your eps start off in front of the TV – what are you watching now?

Coco: I’ve been watching Fallout and The Boys.

Ben: Pretty much the same and Dick Turpin is mad funny.

You seem to smoke a lot of cabbage. Does that affect/inspire what you want to cook?

Coco: Sometimes but we generally try to have a bit of a game plan for the week ahead when possible to make sure things flow smoothly.



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A post shared by Yung Cook God (@yungcookgod_)

Does it ever get tiring making “content”? Is that why you tag out every now and then?

Coco: It consumes a lot of time and energy which can lead to feeling a bit burnt out and uninspired. I try to break it up so I don’t start looking negatively at the process.

Ben: I feel like when I was in the rhythm of doing them everyday it was easy but we went to Bali for a bit, came back and I sorta lost the feeling of momentum. Definitely getting back into the swing of things now.

Are you guys making money from the videos? Looks like it takes a lot of time and effort – how do you make this happen financially?

Coco: Yeah through brand deals and collaborations. It’s nice to have reached this point of financial freedom.

Ben: I also made a playlist on Spotify at the start of the videos which gained 40,000 organic followers so record labels have hit us up a bit asking to for their artists to be featured which is handy.

You’re probably getting offers right now for endorsements, who would you most like to work with?

Coco: It’d be rad to get one of the major supermarkets to sponsor us, groceries ain’t cheap!! Haha but honestly anyone making quality products really. And if cool brands want to continue to dress us then that’s dope too.

What has been your biggest kitchen mishap/fail?

Coco: I can’t remember what I was making but went to crack some pepper and it broke and all of the whole peppercorns fell into the dish :’( also my soufflé pancakes need a little finessing but practice makes perfect :)

Ben: I accidentally set a tea towel on fire, smoke myself out a few times because our exhaust fan is broken, and sliced the top of my index finger off on a mandolin which was later found in the cabbage that Coco was throwing out…

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